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Single Idea 20992

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 9. Contractualism]

Full Idea

Thinking about right and wrong is, at the most basic level, thinking about what could be justified to others on grounds that they, if appropriately motivated, could not reasonably reject.

Gist of Idea

Right and wrong concerns what other people cannot reasonably reject


Thomas M. Scanlon (What We Owe to Each Other [1998], Intro)

A Reaction

The tricky bit is that the acceptance by others must be 'reasonable', so we need a reasonably objective view of rationality. Don't picture your neighbours, picture the locals when you are on holiday in a very different culture. Other Nazis?

Book Reference

Scanlon,T.M.: 'What We Owe to Each Other' [Belknap Harvard 1999], p.5

Related Idea

Idea 21005 A human right is not plausible if public scrutiny might reject it [Sen]